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Image / Editorial

Ireland joins the global campaign for a 4-day work week


by Erin Lindsay
26th Sep 2019

Image: Everett Collection

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As Irish campaigners call for a reduction in working hours to a four day work week, do you think it would make you more productive?


Ireland has joined an international campaign for a four-day workweek.

The home-grown group, ‘4-Day Work Ireland’, is part of an international coalition of unions, businesses, and minority groups that are all advocating for the benefits of a four-day working week.

At a launch in Dublin this morning, the group invited speakers from at home and abroad who have implemented a four day week in their businesses to talk about the benefits.

Last week, John McDonnell, shadow chancellor for Labour in the UK, pledged that if the party was elected, they would begin phasing in a four-day workweek over the next decade. “We should work to live, not live to work,” he said.

According to a 2018 report by Eurostat, the average full-time working week in Europe is 40 hours, with Ireland working an average of 39 hours. The UK works the longest hours, at 42 hours on average per week, while Denmark has the shortest working week, at 37.8 hours.

What are the benefits of a four-day workweek?

If Ireland were to adopt a national four-day week, companies could reap the benefits.

A study performed by Perpetual Guardian — a New Zealand estate management firm who reduced their workweek from 40 to 32 hours for all employees — found no change in their employees’ job performance as a result of the reduced hours. In fact, employees felt they had a more balanced work week (24%), reduced stress (7%), and that overall work satisfaction increased by 5%.

As well as no decrease to productivity and output, other benefits include a better work-life balance, a cut to costs for the company and reduced environmental costs.

Featured image: Everett Collection


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